(Mark Noonan) – I’m sure you’ve all seen and heard the ads being run against Sharron Angle. To listen to them, you get the impression that Sharron Angle wants to get rid of everyone’s Social Security and Medicare right away. But if you listen carefully to the ads, you’ll see that they are cleverly designed to slander.
A good political slander – and “good” means “effective” rather than “morally correct” – works like this: you lump together words said by and/or about the candidate in order to paint a picture of horror.
No doubt about it, Sharron Angle has said – and I agree with her whole heartedly – that we should phase out Social Security. The anti-Angle ads open with this statement. But then the slander begins.
After having Angle state she wants to phase out Social Security (without, by the way, giving the context of the remarks nor putting out Angle’s plan for so doing), the ads then slide over to quoting a newspaper article which stated that Angle wants to “wipe out” Social Security. The ad then goes on to say that Angle wants to wipe out Social Security for everyone “entering the system”. Taken together, the listener is led to believe that the whack-job, Sharron Angle, wants to kick granny off Social Security…after all, she wants to phase out/wipe out Social Security for everyone entering the system, right?
One would never suspect that “entering the system” would refer to young people who have already started receiving their Social Security statements which show that as of X Date, their benefits will start to go away because Social Security is certain to go bankrupt. One would never know that Angle wouldn’t dream of kicking anyone off Social Security who currently receives it, or is likely to start receiving it in the near future. One would never guess that what Angle has been doing is bravely facing the fact that Social Security is fundamentally flawed, unfair to younger people, is going broke and has been looted by the politicians in DC, including by Harry Reid.
But that is not what the people who run the ad want. What they want is seniors desperately frightened of Sharron Angle so that they’ll either vote for Reid or, at worst, stay home on election day. The point of the ads is not to engage in debate, but to slander someone out of the public square. They are trying to breed hatred, fear and division because they know that Harry Reid is so horrendously unpopular that there is no other way to save his bacon.
Now, of course, the people who put out the ads, if asked, would say “Harry who?”. They’ll pretend they never heard of the man and will point to the fine print on their ads and website which say that they are not part of any candidate or candidate’s committee. And they’ll have paid lawyers whatever is necessary to ensure they are “clean” as far as the letter of the law goes – or, at least, clean enough to pass through to election day without causing a ruckus. After that, they wouldn’t care if it were found out that all of Reid’s donors were pouring money in to these anti-Angle ads because by then it will be too late.
And who is behind the ads? The Patriot Majority PAC. Who are they? No way to find out. Their website says they were created in October of 2009 just to help America become a better place. But they do seem to direct most of their efforts towards slandering the TEA Party movement and they clearly have it in for not just Sharron Angle, but also Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) and former governor Sarah Palin (R-AK). They list no staffers and I can’t find any information on who is financially backing the group.
But they do have plenty of money – and they are spending it in Nevada telling us what a horrible person Sharron Angle is. They are doing this by lying, and the lies are tailor made to help Harry Reid in his quest for re-election. One is free to draw their own conclusions about a group which slanders heroic, conservative women while trying to rescue a corrupt, liberal man.